As the new year begins, I’m calling for girls everywhere to resist the temptation to swipe right, put down their phones, and go out and find love the old-fashioned way. If something is too easy, it couldn’t possibly amount to something that amazing, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of girls who have found love through dating apps and websites. One acquaintance built out a process for herself after years of unsuccessful online dating. She had it down to a science and would determine whether she had chemistry with a guy within the first hour, and if not, she would end the date. Ultimately, she found a lasting love through J-Date, but still, how does that hold up to my friend who is in a committed five-year fairytale relationship with a guy she met in her freshman year dorm?
I think it’s time for a change—put the phone down, end the online addiction, and go out to meet real love in a person. So, here are four reasons why you should stop using dating apps:
It’s more fun to meet people organically.
Have you ever heard someone talk about the romantic, surprising, funny, ridiculous time they met their boyfriend online? Me neither. Phones and technology are isolating, and keep us on a hamster wheel of addiction: we constantly crave validation and recognition so we stay online to keep getting likes and follows and swipes and DMs.
Change up your love life and see what happens—you could be in for a surprise during a night out with the girls, or while checking out a new restaurant or show.
It’s way less awkward and less forced.
There are a select few people who can meet a total rando from a website or app and hit it off without a hitch. Online dating provides material for entertaining stories about the worst/most awkward/craziest dates. It’s like getting a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day—most of those nuggets are nasty and stale, filled with a mystery creme that no one wants to eat. Maybe you’ll select the one delicious milk chocolate caramel piece, but let’s be real, 99% of that box is plain yuck.
Stumbling into a stranger at the bar, sitting next to a cute guy at a cafe or on the train, or meeting someone new through a friend of a friend is way more natural and easy than forcing chemistry with an online rando. You can strike up a natural conversation and there’s no pretense of “so are we compatible to date or are we just gonna bone or is this totally dead and we both gotta suffer through these cocktails for the next 2.5 hours…” When you meet someone by chance, all you have to do is go with the flow and see what happens.
You’re more likely to find a true love when you least expect it.
When you’re not on the hunt for Prince Charming, your guard will be down and finding a guy will be a fun surprise. If you’re out with your friends and you happen to meet someone at brunch or at a party, you’ll feel relaxed and confident. There’s no voice in your head thinking, “Do I look okay? Should I check my makeup? Does he like me? How is this going?” You let things happen as they may. Without the pretense of a date, you can let your genuine feelings come through and find an organic love.
You’ll make new friends along the way.
Dating apps force you to treat love like a game—it’s fleeting, detached, and the ultimate goal is to keep you swiping—not to find love and stop using the service. When you decide to stop playing the dating app game and go out and live your life, the possibilities are quite literally endless. Maybe you won’t find a man right away, but you could meet new girlfriends by going out to brunch more, or by going to more social events and expanding your comfort zone. You could even meet a new guy and start out as friends, which might eventually lead to something more. There’s a life out there to be lived once you get off your phone or laptop. Delete the app and go meet people face to face.